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Submission: Land Transport Management Bill


Submission: Land Transport Management Bill

Author: New Zealand Business Roundtable

· The Bill is inconsistent with the top priority the government is giving to economic growth in the interests of restoring average New Zealand incomes to the top half of the OECD ladder.

· The Bill downgrades economic efficiency as a goal of transport policy, and hence the contribution of the sector to economic growth. The government cannot continue to say one thing and do another and expect to be credible.

· The proposals in the Bill seem to be based on many misunderstandings and mistaken ideas. It is not apparent that there is a coherent framework for analysis in either the Bill or the New Zealand Transport Strategy. Nor is there an adequate analysis of existing problems.

· The greater politicisation of road funding contained in the Bill represents a move back to the days of the former National Roads Board structures where politicians could influence road spending decisions for short-term political gain.

· The proposals in the Bill seem bound to produce a transport system that is even less responsive to diverse and changing user requirements. The provisions for toll roads and public private partnerships are too restrictive to be useful. Instead of a return to more central control, moves away from political and bureaucratic decision making and towards more user-driven and commercial approaches are needed.

· The Bill should be withdrawn and the New Zealand Transport Strategy revisited following proper consultation. In formulating a more effective approach, priority should be given to:

- restoring the key objective of economic efficiency;

- maintaining the statutory independence of Transit and Transfund;

- establishing a more flexible framework for the introduction of toll roads and public private partnerships;

- exploring the introduction of more efficient forms of charging, including congestion charges, on the roading system more generally;

- ensuring the funding of capital expenditure projects whose benefits exceed their costs, provided costs and benefits are accurately calculated;

- dropping the onerous consultation procedures (and the special requirement in respect of Maori);

- amending the Resource Management Act to eliminate unacceptable delays with roading projects;

- exploring the establishment of Transit as a state-owned enterprise with powers to borrow for capital expenditures;

- asking the Ministry of Transport to report on ways of advancing the more general use of commercial structures for road operation; and

- making any subsidisation of public passenger transport a local government responsibility rather than a charge on taxpayers in general.

For a full copy of this submission visit www.nzbr.org.nz

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